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Brian’s 2024 PGA Show Recap: A Celebration of Everything Golf – WiscoGolfAddict

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Have you ever felt like your golf addiction is spiraling out of control?

Well, in times like that, it’s important to remember that there are thousands of golf nuts out there just like you, constantly obsessing over clubs, equipment, gear and accessories and itching to get to the course every day.

Nowhere is this more obvious than at the PGA Merchandise Show, a massive gathering of the golf-afflicted population and showcase of the entire industry.

I was naturally a little nervous about my first trip to the PGA Show in Orlando this January. I had heard tales of this gargantuan spectacle, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience firsthand.

Thankfully, this was a WiscoGolfAddict team trip, with PGA Show veterans Paul Seifert and Troy Giljohann showing me the ropes to get the most out of it. Rounding out our group was Contributing Writer Gregg Thompson, also a first-time show attendee. It was a trip packed with nonstop action as we worked around the clock to gather great content and find new products to review.

The WGA Team at Cabot Citrus Farms – Gregg, Paul, Me and Troy

The exhibition hall in the sprawling Orange County Convention Center was a bit overwhelming at first – a cavernous forum with just about every golf-related product and service represented. After two days of wandering the vast setting and chatting with a wide variety of brands and companies, I managed to settle on a handful of new products that piqued my interest for potential testing and review on WiscoGolfAddict later this year.

Edison Wedges

My first day at the Show kicked off with a meeting and interview with Terry Koehler from Edison Wedges. Terry walked me through Edison’s unorthodox design philosophy for wedges, explaining why most options in the market favor elite players. Edison has reinvented the clubface to cater to the swings of the masses, and their WedgeFit process hones in on individual tendencies to deliver an optimized clubface for the normal golfer.

Troy’s review of the first-generation Edisons goes into great depth about this general process, and after meeting with Terry I now plan to get fitted for the Edison 2.0 Wedges and test them out this season. The 2.0’s have repositioned the mass of the clubhead around the perimeter of the face to allow for even more forgiveness and consistency for the non-elite player.

Wedge play is already one of my greatest strengths, and I hope to take it to another level with the help of Edison Golf this season.

Beaver Golf Rain Gloves

I’ve never had a great experience with a rain glove. Too often, its material is too thick for my liking, causing my palm to slip ever so slightly during the swing.

I think this is about to change after chatting with Beaver Golf, one of the first booths I visited in the Inventors’ Section. Their lineup of Cabretta leather rain-repellent handwear comes in seven colors. I tried on a sample and it felt smooth with great grip, more like a regular glove than one designed for wet conditions. It just might be the solution to my rain woes.

Bad Birdie

The massive apparel section occupied its own wing of the Exhibit Hall, and after several hours spent visiting as many of the booths and displays as possible, Bad Birdie was the style that excited me the most.

This is a brand that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time, and after seeing their lineup of polos on display, I can’t wait to try out Bad Birdie apparel this year. I’ve caught the apparel bug over the past year, realizing that how I look and feel on the course has a real impact on my performance. Bad Birdie’s swaggy yet playful style could give my golf game the confidence boost it needs this year.

Convex Golf

I’ve used the same putter for over 15 years. I love my flatstick, but it’s time to explore replacement and upgrade options this year. Much like wedge play, putting is a strength of my game, and I’ve decided that 2024 will be a year of making my strengths better (hopefully!) instead of focusing on weaknesses.

Located in the Inventors’ Section, Convex Golf featured a particularly fascinating product – an interchangeable, customizable putter head (patent pending). The head can be switched between mallet and blade styles, with different degrees of clubface convexity available. A convex face is supposed to reduce face angle error and enlarge the putter’s sweet spot. When I tried it out at the booth, it certainly felt strange and would take some getting used to, but it’s worth a shot!

Patrick Fahy walked me through Convex Golf’s interchangeable putter innovation

Golfgeek

As an actuary by day, complex data analysis is in my DNA. When it comes to golf, though, I’ve never gotten into advanced stat tracking, fearing it might lead to overanalysis and overthinking my swing.

Fear is no way to approach the game, though, so this season I am resolving to gain better quantitative insights into my golf game, and Golfgeek looks like a promising avenue to pursue this.

Much like WAR in baseball, strokes gained is an analytical craze sweeping the golf industry, a method to objectively pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and rate them based on what matters in the end – the effect on one’s score.

Golfgeek has created a user-friendly interface to streamline the process of data entry, with the end result displaying a variety of strokes gained statistics at the user’s fingertips. One thing that turned me off from advanced stat tracking in the past was the sheer amount of time and effort required to enter data on every shot. After playing around with the app on display at the Golfgeek booth, I’m convinced their process will be much smoother than what I’ve seen in the past.

Cappai Designs

I’m always looking for ways to spruce up my home golf decor, and the Cappai Designs booth pulled me right in with some incredible craftsmanship on display. Featuring detailed logo and text imprints on a variety of mediums – charcuterie boards, wood trays, lazy susans and more – it looked like the perfect type of gift for a golf-enthused loved one this year. I’d love to add some of Cappai Designs’ artwork to my own collection featuring logos of my favorite courses.

These were but a few of the many booths I visited at the Show, and I also enjoyed visiting well-known brands that WiscoGolfAddict has worked with in the past. This included Payntr, BatCaddy, Proud 90, Pins & Aces, Meridian, Kam Kaddie and many more. We always enjoy catching up with the reps from these brands to stay up to date with their newest product lines.

Other Trip Highlights

Cabot Citrus Farms

Our trip to Florida kicked off with a couple welcomed mid-winter rounds of golf, first with a visit to one of 2024’s hottest new golf developments, Cabot Citrus Farms. The media preview day we attended featured a round on the much-hyped Karoo course (formerly Pine Barrens at World Woods), access to the resort’s two short courses, The Squeeze and The Wedge, and the opportunity to meet the Cabot team including course architects Kyle Franz and Mike Nuzzo.

Ben Cowan-Dewar and the team at Cabot have worked wonders to modernize and transform this gifted sand-based property into America’s next must-play destination. There’s something special cooking here, and I can’t wait to see the finished product when the resort fully opens later in 2024.

Hawk’s Landing Golf Club

The next day, we kicked off the Orlando festivities with a round at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club in Orlando with Nick Bauer from Caddy Time. No, this isn’t the same Hawk’s Landing as in Verona, Wisconsin. This version is a very Florida-esque property darting between a buffet of water hazards that promise to devour sleeves of freshly provisioned balls from your rental bag.

Joining us for the round was Kareem, a forecaddie enlisted by Nick, who was a great help hunting down our balls that often steered perilously close to ponds and other trouble. Kareem’s professional-level service and friendly personality enhanced our round significantly. If you’re looking for professional caddy service when it’s not offered at a course, I highly recommend using Caddy Time after our outstanding experience with Kareem.

For more on the caddied golf experience and caddy time, check out guest writer Henry Mcgannon’s recent article, “So, You’re taking a Caddie”

So, You’re Taking a Caddie: What You Need to Know

So, You’re Taking a Caddie: What You Need to Know

Are you looking forward to your first caddied golf experience but aren’t sure what to expect?

A pro caddie on the Ocean course at Kiawah Island, Henry McGannon wants to help you feel comfortable with your first caddied experience…


Orlando is a great golfing city, and my upcoming destination review will feature Hawk’s Landing and several other fantastic public options in the area that can help enhance your next visit.

Mini Golf/PopStroke

What do hopeless golf addicts do to unwind after a busy day of golf and golf-adjacent activities?

More golf stuff, of course!

On the eve of the Show, we met up with our friends from Stewart Golf: The owner, Mark, and Marketing Executive, Luke, for a loop at Pirate’s Cove, where I bore witness to a tradition like none other: The annual Stewart-WiscoGolfAddict Putt-Putt Championship. Gregg and I played our own individual match and documented the epic showdown that came down to a playoff hole.

Mini Golf at Pirate’s Cove with Stewart Golf. From left to right: Gregg, Mark, Paul, Troy and Luke

The next night we got together with the team from Redvanly Apparel and other Show attendees for a couple loops at PopStroke, a Tiger Woods-designed (and co-owned) modern take on mini golf. If you haven’t been to PopStroke yet, make a point to visit next chance you get. It was a jovial, party-like atmosphere, a golf oasis with aesthetics that amazingly resemble a real course.

PopStroke was the perfect add-on to a terrific first day at the Show

Closing Thoughts

The main takeaway from my first PGA Show: This game is great, and it keeps getting better every year. Great minds in the industry are hard at work reinventing and reinvigorating golf, questioning old norms and making the game more accessible and fun for all.

The year ahead looks quite promising for my own writing efforts, with a handful of exciting new brands and products I found at the PGA Show that I intend to explore further.

While I loved seeing all the gear, equipment, clubs, apparel, services and innovations on full display at the PGA Show, the best part of the experience was the people. There’s nothing like being surrounded by thousands of folks, whether in the golf business or just enthusiasts like myself, who share a deep passion for the game. It was a good reminder that it’s okay to be obsessed with golf, and in fact, it’s something to celebrate.



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